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Have a Plan, Know Your Limits

  • Published
  • By Col. Timothy Zadalis
  • 43rd Airlift Wing commander
Last week ended with the Pope Special Activities Committee's 21st Annual Golf Tournament, which raised nearly $5,000. PSAC is a great organization that raises $8,000 to $10,000 each year for Pope. The money is used to support things like the Airmen's Appreciation Dinner, Airman and Family Readiness programs, First Sergeant programs, Little Gryphon and deployment farewell cookouts. 

I want to thank the president, Robert Grover, and the three people who put the tournament together: Gary Brown, Jay Wyatt and Kenny Burke. The tournament was a great success, and we thank you all for working so hard. I also want to thank everyone on the PSAC for your continued support to Pope. 

This week I want to talk about the importance of readiness and how alcohol use and abuse can affect our readiness. 

Pope is known for answering the call when we need to deploy. More than 2,800 of our troops have deployed in support of the Global War on Terror. Airmen all over Pope are making history during deployments. 

Twice you've broken records with the mission capability rates. We had a team of people fly the "Train 60" mission that was the first-ever operational combat mission flown by an all-Iraqi aircrew that also included former Interim Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi and his deputy. 

Pope could not continue to achieve these accomplishments if everyone wasn't prepared at all times to deploy. It's important to always be ready. Make sure your immunizations are up-to-date, you're physically fit enough to deploy, family care plans are in place, wills and powers of attorney are ready, and all your ancillary training is up to date. It's our job and our way of life to be ready. 

One factor that can hurt our readiness is alcohol use and abuse. Last weekend was a bad weekend for Pope. We had one sergeant arrested for driving under the influence and an airman taken into custody for underage drinking. Additionally, I spent my Saturday morning driving around picking up beer cans all over the base. 

This is unacceptable behavior. Heavy drinking and alcohol-related incidents have Air Force-wide mission impact. Let's not forget the 0-0-1-3 rule: Zero DUIs, zero underage drinking, one drink per hour and no more than three drinks per night. Know your limits. 

These rules are put into place to protect you and to protect the mission. On a positive note, Airmen Against Drunk Driving continues to be there for all of us every weekend. Just this past weekend a squadron commander realized he'd had too much to drink and called AADD. If a squadron commander can call to get a ride home, there is no reason everyone can't do the same. It's the safe thing to do. It's the smart thing to do. When you go out, have a plan, and if your plan fails, call Airmen Against Drunk Driving at 394-AADD.